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Jan Kuipers  

Date of Birth : 25-02-1927
Date of Death : 15-11-1944
Age : 17
Cemetery : Dutch Field of Honour Osnabrück, Row J. Grave 1.
Jan Kuipers was born in Zuidwolde, Groningen, The Netherlands. He was a son of Jans Kuiper and Aafke Schrage. He working as a farmer, growing vegetables.
On 22 April 1944 the Dutch resistance killed a Dutchman who was working for the German Sicherheitsdienst (SD). This man, Jannes Luitje Keijer, was a lieutenant in the Dutch police. Hij was searching for people who were in hiding and was making some progress in his investigation. Therefor it was decided by the resistance that he had to be killed, although this would mean the Germans would take revenge. He was shot at the station in Bedum, The Netherlands and died in hospital in Groningen. The Germans were furious and the next morning they killed the first innocent Dutch civilian and later that day wounded three others when they were shot at their homes.
On 25 April about 1000 German soldiers and policemen surrounded the villages Bedum, Zuidwolde, Winsum and Middelstum to round up every man they saw. Four men were killed and about 150 men were arrested. In total six men were killed is April 1944 as retaliation for the death of Jannes Keijer.
Jan Kuipers was arrested in Bedum on 25 April. He was sent to Concentration Camp Amersfoort (Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort) on 26 April 1944. From there he was put on a train to Germany on 7 July 1944. He was then sent to two different camps in Schkopau and Lippendorf, before he was finally sent to Peres. In the working camps he was used a a forced labourer and was clearing rubble and debris, sometimes caused by Allied aerial bombardments. 
Kuipers died on 15 November 1944 in a camp for Dutch workers (Holländerlager) in Peres, Landkreis Dorna, Germany. The author of the Dutch book 'Aanslag en Represaille', Harm R. Reinders, wrote about Jan Kuipers on page 168. He quotes his father Harm Reiders, who was also taken prisoner by the Germans: "Jan Kuipers uit Zuidwolde overleed ook die maand november. Hij lag in de ziekenbarak en toen ik hem bezocht was hij juist even tevoren overleden. Hij was ontzettend vermagerd, vreselijk om te zien. De Sanitäter, ik meen dat het Henk de Jong was, vertelde me een diep respekt te hebben voor de houding van Jan. Zijn wilskracht was ongelooflijk. Hij stond er ook op dat hij steeds gewassen werd, wilde beslist niet vuil worden. Voor we opgepakt werden, misschien een week er voor, had ik nog een heel gesprek met hem over de toekomst. Het was ellendig hem daar zo te zien liggen." (translation in short: Jan Kuipers from Zuidwolde also died that november. He was in the hospital barrack and when I visited him he just passed away. He thinned a lot and it was awful to see. Before we were arrested I talked to him about the future. It was horrible to see him lying there."
On 7 April 2014 a Stolperstein or Stumbling stone was laid in front of the house in Zuidwolde where Jan Kuipers was living in 1944.
Picture: 29-10-2016
 
Sources: Website Oorlogsgravenstichting, 'Aanslag en Represaille', website https://stolpersteine.groningen.nl and website http://www.gronigergijzelaars.nl

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